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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Civet \Civ"et\ (s[i^]v"[e^]t), n. [F. civette (cf. It. zibetto) civet, civet cat, fr. LGr. zape`tion, fr. Ar. zub[=a]d, zab[=a]d, civet.]

  1. A substance, of the consistence of butter or honey, taken from glands in the anal pouch of the civet ( Viverra civetta). It is of clear yellowish or brownish color, of a strong, musky odor, offensive when undiluted, but agreeable when a small portion is mixed with another substance. It is used as a perfume.

  2. (Zo["o]l) The animal that produces civet ( Viverra civetta); -- called also civet cat. It is carnivorous, from two to three feet long, and of a brownish gray color, with transverse black bands and spots on the body and tail. It is a native of northern Africa and of Asia. The name is also applied to other species.


Civet \Civ"et\, v. t. To scent or perfume with civet.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1530s, from Middle French civette (15c.), ultimately (with Italian zibetto, Medieval Latin zibethum, Medieval Greek zapetion) via lost intermediate forms from Arabic zabad "civet," said to be related to zabad "foam, froth," zubd "cream."


n. 1 A carnivorous catlike animal that produces a musky secretion. It is two to three feet long, with black bands and spots on the body and tail. 2 The musky perfume produced by the animal.


n. catlike mammal typically secreting musk used in perfumes [syn: civet cat]


A civet is a small, lithe-bodied, mostly nocturnal mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa, especially the tropical forests. The term civet applies to over a dozen different mammal species. Most of the species diversity is found in southeast Asia. The best-known civet species is the African civet, Civettictis civetta, which historically has been the main species from which was obtained a musky scent used in perfumery. The word civet may also refer to the distinctive musky scent produced by the animals.

A minority of writers use the name civet to cover Civettictis, Viverra and Viverricula civets. But in more common usage in English the name also covers Chrotogale, Cynogale, Diplogale, Hemigalus, Arctogalidia, Macrogalidia, Paguma, and Paradoxurus civets.

Civet (band)

Civet is an American punk rock band from Long Beach, California. They are signed to Hellcat Records and have recorded six releases, with the latest being Love & War (2011).

Civet (disambiguation)

A civet is small, mostly arboreal mammal native to the tropics of Africa and Asia.

The term may also refer to:

  • Civet (perfumery), extracted from perineal glands of the civet
  • Civet (band), a punk rock band from Long Beach, California
  • CIVETS, an acronym for the nations Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa
  • Jugged food stewed in an upright container (such as Jugged Hare, known as civet de lièvre in France)
Civet (perfumery)

Civet (Zibeth; Zibet; Zibetum), also known as civet musk, is the glandular secretion produced by both sexes of the civet cat ( Viverridae).

Usage examples of "civet".

I have it in musk, civet, amber, Phoenicobalanus, the decoction of turmerick, sesana, nard, spikenard, calamus odoratus, stacte, opobalsamum, amomum, storax, ladanum, aspalathum, opoponax, oenanthe.

And having no place to put the giant ant-eaters, any way - having removed them from the cages of ratel and civet, respectively - I allowed O.

Civet, Genette, Linsang, Suricate, Binturong and Mongoose, though this last is separated by Jerdon, who follows Blyth.

He could detect the odour of a womaWs perfume, and beneath that, imperfectly 21 masked by ambergris, civet and damask, another earthier smell.

I have it in musk, civet, amber, Phoenicobalanus, the decoction of turmerick, sesana, nard, spikenard, calamus odoratus, stacte, opobalsamum, amomum, storax, ladanum, aspalathum, opoponax, oenanthe.

The large carnivores played host with their leavings to a great variety of secondary carnivores and scavengers, both four-legged and flying: foxes, hyenas, brown bears, civets, small steppe cats, wolverines, weasels, ravens, kites, hawks, and many more.

The pipe he smoked was a corncob, black, with a stink like a civet cat.

Kostya wrapped a heavy cloak about his shoulders, a fur cloak pungent with a rank civet smell.

Eating your groatsworth of mou en civet, fleshpots of Egypt, elbowed by belching cabmen.

I was expecting some grizzled old veteran who had a wealth of stories to tell, who had maybe even seen a civet cat or a duiker before they became extinct.

The air stunk of civet, belch, and vinegar, and vibrated with ear-ringing skirls.

La Serenissima had need of it, marten skins and civet, and amber from the Chowat.

A glass-fronted cabinet originally intended to hold dental equipment, jammed full of severed paws, monkey, civet, fox, lynx, bear, and others, several with the claws extended, one that looked as though it had been lopped off a yeti.

As it was, he would have had to partake of thirty pair of such dishes as roast capons and partridges, civet of hare, meat and fish aspics, lark pasties and rissoles of beef marrow, black puddings and sausages, lampreys and savory rice, entremet of swan, peacock, bitterns, and heron “borne on high,” pasties of venison and small birds, fresh and salt-water fish with a gravy of shad “the color of peach blossom,” white leeks with plovers, duck with roast chitterlings, stuffed pigs, eels reversed, frizzled beans-finishing off with fruit wafers, pears, comfits, medlars, peeled nuts, and spiced wine.

The boys learned to recognize all these and the other sounds of the night - the birds such as the night jar and the dikkop, the smaller mammals, the night ape, the genet and the civet, and the insects and reptiles that squealed and hummed and croaked in the reeds of the waterhole.